The Muskegon Lumberjacks, playing for the first time in 13 days, collected two late goals to beat the Youngstown Phantoms 3-1 in United States Hockey League action on Friday night at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.
The Jacks broke open a 1-1 tie with a pair of goals in the final 2:09 of regulation. John Farinacci scored his fourth goal of the season, with an assist from Danil Gushchin, to give Muskegon a 2-1 lead at 17:51 of the third period. Cristophe Tellier added an insurance goal with 15 seconds left, with an assist from Alex Gagne.
The Lumberjacks, who haven’t played since Nov. 22 due to COVID-related game postponements, improved to 3-2 on the season. They are in fourth place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Lumberjacks had to fight all the way to the end to win on Friday, despite having a huge 38-13 advantage in shots on goal. It took them most of the game to start beating Youngstown goalie Mattias Sholl, who stayed busy all night stopping 35 Muskegon shots.
Muskegon’s Cameron Berg scored the only goal of the first period, 4:11 into the game, with an assist from Dylan Wendt. It’s was Berg’s sixth tally on the season.
Youngstown’s Reilly Funk scored at the midway point of the second period, and the game remained tied 1-1 until late in the third, when the Lumberjacks stole the win.
Muskegon goalie Christian Stoever stopped 12 shots and collected the victory.
The Lumberjacks will have a rematch with the Phantoms in Youngstown on Saturday night, then will visit Dubuque for three games in Dec. 10th, 11th and 12th and Team USA on Dec. 16.
Muskegon will finally have its home opener on Dec. 18 against the Chicago Steel, the opener of a two-game weekend series at Mercy Health Arena.